Sunday, August 19, 2018
Hometeam

Jason Stokes at helm for Indian Rocks Christian’s playoff run

LARGO — It has certainly been an interesting year for Jason Stokes. In October of last season he resigned as head coach at Gaither after the team was forced to forfeit three games due to the use of two ineligible players.

He landed briefly in the spring at Dixie Hollins as an assistant coach. Prior to the fall season, he became the assistant head coach at Indian Rocks Christian.

Head coach Mark Buchanan was having health issues and by the sixth game of the season Buchanan was forced to step away. Stokes took over and the Golden Eagles ended the regular season 7-2. They begin the playoffs Friday at home against Admiral Farragut.

"It’s kind of like riding a bike," Stokes said about returning to head coaching. "These kids are a lot of fun. And I have a great staff and administration. I think the sky’s the limit around here."

He did have to make one adjustment to his coaching. He spent most of his career at big schools with big rosters. That’s not the case at Class 2A Indian Rocks Christian. He’s had to learn how to squeeze the most out of his players.

"It’s crazy going from 8A where you have 50 or 60 kids to 2A where you have 25 kids and really only 16 play," Stokes said. "It’s really all hands on deck. You have to be a great manager of bodies. You have to keep aware of kids fatiguing, kids getting injured. And you have to manage snaps from Day 1 so that the kids are able to make a playoff run."

Playoff football

All games 7:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is $8.

REGION QUARTERFINALS

7A

No. 6 East River at No. 3 Plant

No. 7 Gaither at No. 2 Viera

No. 5 Wiregrass Ranch at No. 4 Lake Nona

No. 8 St. Petersburg at No. 1 Venice

No. 7 Bloomingdale at No. 2 Tampa Bay Tech

No. 6 Palmetto at No. 3 Pinellas Park

6A

No. 6 Barron Collier at No. 3 Largo

No. 8 Clearwater at No. 1 North Fort Myers

No. 7 Chamberlain at No. 2 Mitchell

No. 8 Sebring at No. 1 Armwood

No. 5 Hillsborough at No. 4 Lake Gibson

5A

No. 6 Jesuit at No. 3 Jefferson

No. 7 Tarpon Springs at No. 2 Lakewood

No. 6 Clay at No. 3 Hernando

No. 7 River Ridge at No. 2 Zephyrhills

No. 8 Nature Coast at No.1 Baker County

REGION SEMIFINALS

3A

No. 4 Tampa Catholic at No. 1 Clearwater Central Catholic

No. 3 Calvary Christian at No. 2 Lakeland Christian

2A

No. 4 Southwest Florida Christian at No. 1 Cambridge Christian

No. 3 Admiral Farragut at No. 2 Indian Rocks Christian

No. 4 Zephyrhills Christian at No. 1 Victory Christian

Comments
Preseason football: Hillsborough 29, East Lake 23

Preseason football: Hillsborough 29, East Lake 23

TAMPA — When moving on to your third football program in four seasons, it helps to have a familiar face on the scene to help make things click faster.For Hillsborough quarterback Charlie Dean, fresh from playing for Tampa Catholic last fall, that per...
Published: 08/18/18
Preseason football: Clearwater Central Catholic 24, Wiregrass Ranch 14

Preseason football: Clearwater Central Catholic 24, Wiregrass Ranch 14

WESLEY CHAPEL — Clearwater Central Catholic, held to 11 yards rushing in the first half, turned on the power game behind senior Casey Levy, whose 120-yard performance helped carry the visiting Marauders to a 24-14 win at Wiregrass Ranch.Levy’s lone t...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18

Preseason football: Tampa Bay Tech 54, Brandon 6

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech earned all the momentum it needed heading into next week’s sizable test at Armwood.The Titans powered by visiting Brandon 54-6 in a preseason classic on Friday night. The game was cruising along until a 20-minute lightning dela...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18

Preseason football: Tampa Catholic 36, Robinson 15

TAMPA — First-year Tampa Catholic coach Jeris McIntyre hasn’t named a starting quarterback yet, but Dylan McCain shined in his job interview Friday, running a Crusader offense that scored 22 points in the second half on the way to a 36-15 preseason v...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18

Preseason football: Jefferson 53, Newsome 0

LITHIA — Jefferson’s Tyler Thomas needed less than a quarter to throw down a challenge to the area teams: Catch him if you can.Unsuspecting Newsome, playing host to the preseason classic, never had a chance in the 53-0 loss on Friday.Thomas, a senior...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18

Preseason football: Sunlake 22, Lakewood 20 (one half)

ST. PETERSBURG — Following two lengthy lightning delays, Sunlake used two blocked punts and several key defensive stops to knock off Lakewood in an abbreviated preseason game, 22-20.Matt Paduani led the way for the Seahawks, notching two touchdown ca...
Published: 08/17/18

Preseason football: Alonso 7, Countryside 6

TAMPA — The end result was a one-point decision — a 7-6 victory for Alonso over Countryside on Friday in a preseason game.First-year coach Ron Perisee preferred to dig deeper into his Ravens’ performance than the final score."I am just proud of the f...
Published: 08/17/18

Preseason football: Land O’Lakes 26, Wesley Chapel 0

LAND O’LAKES — From the very first play Friday night, Land O’Lakes asserted its presence over Wesley Chapel in preseason action.A botched snap, recovered by the Gators, set up a 27-yard flea-flicker touchdown from quarterback Ethan Forrester to Jacob...
Published: 08/17/18

Preseason football: St. Petersburg 10, Northeast 0

ST. PETERSBURG — Tonio Shavers rushed for a short touchdown as the St. Petersburg defeated Northeast, 10-0, in a shortened preseason game Friday.Lightning caused an hour-long delay at the end of the first quarter and when the teams returned they deci...
Published: 08/17/18

Preseason football: River Ridge 44, Pasco 24

NEW PORT RICHEY — River Ridge rode the arms of quarterbacks Kyle St. John and Travis Hawks on Friday night en route to a 44-24 preseason win over Pasco."(St. John and Hawks) both played really well tonight," River Ridge coach Ryan Benjamin said. "The...
Published: 08/17/18